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Edinburgh diaries 3: Wonderland

Alright, I’ve been proper rubbish with my Edinburgh ‘Diaries’. Seeing as none of the three entries were actually written while I was in Edinburgh, I’ve been reeeeally rubbish.

I did write a blog when I was in Edinburgh. It was a response to a quite nasty review a website gave me and then @ted me into via my Twitter. *Tuts and sips tea haughtily*. MANNERS!

The major thing I have come away with from my first Edinburgh, is…….DRUMROLL PURLEASE!…………a much thicker skin! Hooray!

Okay, it isn’t an award or a sitcom pilot but I’m pretty much made of tartan now. Which is a good thing.

Comedy can be incredibly divisive and I’ll be totally honest, I really didn’t think I was as divisive as some people’s reactions have warranted over the last month. Hey guys guess what? I’m essentially Frankie Boyle! Who knew, eh?

I was fully prepared that people were not going to like my show and  that people were going to like my show. I’m all for constructive criticism. When I did an MA is scriptwriting, the most worthwhile parts of the course were the group read through and discussions. The criticisms, which were always CONSTRUCTIVE. See, I’ve caps locked this shit to signify the importance.

Here is a quick excerpt from that review I was @ted into.

“When Katie Mulgrew says she’s from Rochdale, it’s clear that few in attendance have ever heard of the place before – lucky them. To say that Mulgrew might be the best thing that the Lancashire town has ever produced is not a great compliment;”

Okay, I’ll work on that. I’ll try not to be from the place I was born! Really? Can you not give me something I can use?

Give me something I can actually work on!

Mental.

A comedian who I really admire gave me some good advice during the Fringe. She said your first Edinburgh is all about survival.

And it totally is. It’s about surviving the slings and arrows, even if they are italic slings and hashtagged arrows. Realising that people arn’t going to like you and definitely will tell you, but surviving it. The people that do, will come back and watch you time and time again and they are who you put yourself out there for.

Really though, I was actually pretty lucky fringe wise. I had some very nice reviews ( a couple of not very nice ones, I admit), some very nice audiences (One woman in one audience who wasn’t very nice. Check my twitter feed or ask me when I’ve had a gin for that tasty anecdote) and an audience with a man in a full rabbit costume. Yes. Full rabbit costume and full rabbit make-up.

Of course I did. It was a Friday at the Fringe. It would be weird if I didn’t have a man in full bunny get up.

I did pause onstage momentarily and wonder whether I’d gone mad. That being in Edinburgh for so long had made me go all ‘Donnie Darko’ but then the rest of the audience were looking between me and him with the same confusion and I thought Oh good they can see him too.  Confusion from said audience quickly turned into expectation as if the man in the rabbit suit was a plant and part of the show. To the point that I shouted “HE ISN’T AFFILIATED WITH ME!” like some sort of desperate prisoner of war.

I got drunk a little bit. Not as much as you’d think. I went through a brief phase of drinking straight whiskey with ice because I thought it gave me an air of mystery. I would be in a bar imagining that all of the industry people around me would be thinking ‘Look at her over there. She’s like a female James Bond.’ Not realising it actually made me look more like ‘look at her over there. Straight whiskey? She’s having a hard month.’ NO I’M BEING BLOODY ALLURING. LOOK AT MY ALLURE. LOOK AT IT!

 I watched some amazing shows. Hannah Gadsby and James Acaster stand out the most. Both made me instantly excited about stand up and miserable at the same time. A bit like when your partner does something romantic and you’re like ‘aw, I love you soooo…oh but you’re a Dick! Coz now I have to do something as good as this and I don’t think I can!’

I was surrounded by really lovely comedians. Comedians get a bad rep for being egotistical, back stabbing and not very supportive of one another. I found that to be completely untrue. Especially at my venue, Stand 3 & 4. The greenroom was like a happy little sixth form common room where discussions about feminism but also crisps were not unusual. There was such a supportive atmosphere that when it was made clear there would be kareoke at the Stand wrap party, I thought it a great idea to put my name down to sing ‘Say my name’ by Destiny’s Child.

The performance of said song is rather a gin hazed blur. I recall shimmying and making street style hand gestures whilst my dulcet Lancashire tones rapped very badly. Thank God for Miley Cyrus, she’s really taken the heat off me this week.

As I take stock of the last month, I recall what I was doing six Fringes ago. I worked behind the Box Office of a venue called the Underbelly. Dreaming every shift, that one day Id be doing my own stand up show.

And I have.

So I bid adieu to my first solo Fringe experience.There have been ups. There have been downs but ultimately it’s been a bit bloody wonderful.

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